NBA Great Bill Bradley to Speak at Basketball and American Culture Symposium

Nov. 26, 2012

Event: NBA Hall of Famer, Rhodes scholar and former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley will be the keynote speaker at The University of Texas at Austin’s Basketball and American Culture Symposium, sponsored by the H. J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports. In a talk titled “Values of the Game,” Bradley will discuss his basketball career while at Princeton University and in the NBA. The address coincides with the public showing of James Naismith’s “Original Rules of Basket Ball” at the university’s Blanton Museum of Art.

Dr. Daniel A. Nathan, Dr. Reuben A. Buford May and author Madeleine Blais also will be speaking about basketball and its relationship to American culture.

When: 1-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29 – Bradley will speak from 1 to 2 p.m.

Where: Etter-Harbin Alumni Center Ballroom, University of Texas at Austin campus, 2110 San Jacinto Blvd.

Background: Each talk will be followed by a Q&A session:

2:15-3:00: Daniel A. Nathan, Ph.D. — Nathan won the North American Society for Sport History book award for “Saying It’s So,” a cultural study of the 1919 Chicago “Black Sox” baseball scandal. He is president-elect of the North American Society for Sport History and teaches a class at Skidmore College on basketball as a window to American culture. His symposium talk is titled “From Springfield to San Antonio: A Brief History of Basketball’s Rise as a Global Game.”

3:00-3:45: Reuben A. Buford May, Ph.D.  May is a professor of sociology at Texas A&M University and author of “Living Through the Hoop: High School Basketball, Race, and the American Dream,” which was selected Book of the Year in 2008 by the Association for Humanist Sociology. His symposium lecture is titled “Did Naismith Know? Basketball and the American Dream.”

3:45-4:30: Madeleine Blais — Blais is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and author of the highly acclaimed book “In These Girls Hope is a Muscle.” While a journalist, Blais won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1980. Her symposium lecture is titled “Playing for Keeps: What Happens in the Post Season Called the Rest of Your Life?”

The symposium is part of a campus-wide celebration of James Naismith’s rules of basketball, a document that was published in 1891 and outlines the original rules of the game. Naismith’s “Original Rules of Basket Ball” as well as artist Paul Pfeiffer’s sports-related artwork are on display at the Blanton Museum of Art, and a photography exhibition titled “Basketball: Power in Play” is on display at the Harry Ransom Center. The Blanton Museum exhibition will be open until Jan. 13, 2013, and the Ransom Center exhibition will be open through Dec. 9.

For more information, contact: Kay Randall, College of Education, 512 471 6033.